The benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine far outweighs the risks of the virus – hospitalisation and death – especially for the elderly.
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It’s official, Selangor and Kuala Lumpur residents who wish to get their Covid-19 vaccinations can now volunteer to take the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Science, Technology & Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said that the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines will only be used on a voluntary basis in Malaysia.
According to Malaysiakini, special vaccination centres (PPV) will be set up in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor to administer the vaccine, with the aim to boost the country’s vaccination rate.
Yesterday, Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah had Tweeted about considering opening walk-ins for the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine after public opinion was split on accepting the vaccine due to the rare side effect of developing blood clots.
Perhaps we should open a walk in for AZ vaccine. No need to wait. What do you think?— Noor Hisham Abdullah (@DGHisham) April 27, 2021
AstraZeneca vaccine & blood clots
Several cases of rare blood clots were identified by the regulatory body in the United Kingdom – the MHRA – after people received the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The blood clots occurred in veins in the brain (cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, CVST) and the abdomen (splanchnic vein thrombosis) and in arteries, together with low levels of blood platelets and sometimes bleeding.
According to BBC, 79 people – two-thirds of them women – experienced clots after receiving a first vaccine dose. Nineteen of them died.
This is in contrast to over 20 million AstraZeneca vaccines doses already administered across the UK by the end of March 2021.
The MHRA said about four people in a million would normally be expected to develop this particular kind of blood clot – though the fact they are so rare makes the usual rate hard to estimate.
Nonetheless, the MHRA states that benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine far outweighs the risks of the virus – hospitalisation and death – especially for the elderly. It does say though that under-30s with no underlying health conditions should be offered an alternative vaccine where available.
The European Medicines Agency safety committee (PRAC) concluded that unusual blood clots with low blood platelets should be listed as very rare side effects for the AstraZeneca vaccine. However, PRAC stresses that the reported combination of blood clots and low blood platelets is very rare, and the overall benefits of the vaccine in preventing Covid-19 outweigh the risks of side effects.
KKM has also made the decision to proceed with the vaccine, based on clinical data which proved the benefits outweigh the harm.
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